Vancouver Island Tech Comm Café: January 19 recap

Vancouver Island Tech Comm Café:  January 19 recap

The first Vancouver Island Tech Comm Café of 2017 was held January 19. The small group of technical writers, aspiring technical writers, and our invited guest met at The Next Sushi in Victoria’s Cook St. Village.

Our guest for the evening was Olga Romanova, the Human Resources manager at Reliable Controls. Olga had kindly agreed to join us and provide insight into the Victoria tech writing scene from the point of view of an IT hiring manager.

We kicked off the evening with a quick round of introductions. A very pleasant surprise was the presence of a former president of the Vancouver Island STC chapter, who painted a picture of the technical writing scene in Victoria during the late 90s when Nortel was a major employer of technical writers in Victoria.

We continued our meeting by reviewing the results of the survey that circulated using Survey Monkey containing four questions.

In response to the first question, what skill would you next like to add to your tech writing portfolio, the majority answered within coding skills, followed by Madcap Flare, and video creation.

For the second question, how optimistic are you about the growth of the technical writing scene in Victoria, the majority response was “Not very, with a minority voting “Somewhat” and one optimistic fellow voting “Very”.

The survey also indicated that there is a strong desire to attend Madcap Flare training if the STC were to put on a class in Victoria.

Olga then led our discussion of the hiring scene in Victoria for technical writers, which touched on a number of related subjects:

  • Preferred technical skills for writers
  • Number and quality of technical writers currently applying for technical writer roles
  • Wages in Victoria as compared to Vancouver
  • Telecommuting
  • Job boards for technical writing positions
  • LinkedIn and other social media platforms

Key take-aways from Olga’s discussion were the qualities she looks for in a technical writing candidate: persistence, curiosity, drive, and engagement in learning.

She uses three major criteria for evaluating a candidate, of which skillset is only one. The other two are personality and ability to fit into the organization.

Join us for more enlightening discussions at our next Vancouver Island Tech Comm Café. Location and time TBA.

The Lower Mainland Tech Comm Café will meet on March 8; details here. RSVP to admin (at)


The TCC provides networking opportunities, job leads, answers to work-related dilemmas, and a burst of professional energy to keep you motivated. We discuss technical writing tools and techniques, career planning, portfolios, and anything else related to working as a technical communicator.

We welcome anyone who’s interested in technical communication — contractor, in-house, student, long-time tech writer, STC member, non-member, career-changer, or recruiter. We hope to see you at the next meeting!


Gabriel Forbes is the Vancouver Island Coordinator for the STC Canada West Coast chapter.